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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2003): Education - UK - Schools

3,000 TEACHERS LOSE THEIR JOBS IN CASH CRISIS

T. Halpin and G. Owen

The Times, May 22nd 2003 p.1

At least 3,000 teachers are to lose their jobs as a result of the school funding crisis. The scale of the crisis calls into question the Government's ability to reform public services. Schools received a record 11.6 per cent increase in funding but many heads say they have seen little new money while costs have gone up.

£650M CAMPAIGN ON TRUANCY FAILS

C. Newman

Financial Times, May 27th 2003, p.2

A £650m campaign has failed to cut the number of children missing school. According to government statistics the number of children skipping class at least once a year has increased by 15 per cent since Labour came to power in 1997.

A LEVEL STANDARDS

Education and Skills Committee

London: TSO, 2003 (House of Commons papers, session 2002/03; HC 153)

Concludes that the public outcry in summer 2002 over alleged manipulation of A-level results by examination boards to avoid accusations of grade inflation was largely unjustified. However there was confusion amongst students, teachers and examiners about standards required under the new Curriculum 2000. There was a lack of communication and understanding between the examination boards, the Qualifications and Curriculum Agency and the Department for Education and Skills. The Committee also found no evidence that standards had fallen. The increasing numbers of students passing A levels could be explained by changes to the examination system since 1983 and by improved teaching quality and resources.

THE BACCALAUREATE; A MODEL FOR CURRICULUM REFORM

G. Phillips and T. Pound

London: Kogan-Page, 2003

The issue of 14-19 education and training is the next great reform agenda in British education. Concerns about premature specialisation, the low status of vocational education and a divided, twin-track system have given rise to calls for a baccalaureate model. This book covers the existing international, French and Welsh models and assesses the value and feasibility of a baccalaureate - style system for England. Subjects covered include the breadth of the system, participation, social inclusion and progression to higher education and employment.

BEYOND A LEVELS: CURRICULUM 2000 AND THE REFORM OF 14-19 QUALIFICATIONS

A. Hodgson and K. Spours

London: Kogan-Page; 2003

This book, the first published on Curriculum 2000, tries to explain why the reform of the advanced level qualification has been so controversial. It asks if, having been around for over 50 years, it is possible to move beyond A-levels? If so, have we moved beyond A levels with Curriculum 2000? Finally the book addresses the question of what lies beyond A levels. What kind of new system should be put in their place, and what features, if any, should be drawn from the past?

BUDGET CRISIS MEANS REDUNDANCY NOTICES FOR 1,500 TEACHING STAFF

R. Garner and S. Cassidy

The Independent, 30th May 2003, p. 1

Nearly 1, 500 teachers and support staff have been issued with redundancy notices because of the schools budget crisis, according to a national survey by the Independent newspaper.

CHILDREN SENT HOME EARLY AS BUDGET CUTS BITE

W. Woodward

The Guardian, May 22nd 2003, p.7

Reports that more than 100 children from Edenham High in Croydon were sent home early as their headmaster, the local council, the government and the Conservatives played a blame game over budgets.

(See also The Independent, May 22nd 2003, p.6; The Times, May 22nd 2003, p.8; Daily Telegraph, May 22nd 2003, p.10)

CLARKE WILL LET SCHOOLS SPEND £600M TO EASE CRISIS

R. Garner

The Independent, May 15th 2003, p.10

Charles Clarke, the Education Secretary, will allow schools to spend £600m earmarked for building repairs on teachers' wages in an attempt to avoid redundancies this summer.

(See also The Guardian, May 16th 2003, p.9; Daily Telegraph, May 16th 2003, p.11)

COULD DO BETTER?

N. Valios

Community Care, May 1st-7th 2003, p.28-31

In response to a decline in the educational attainment of children in care, government has lowered its targets. Poor results may be due to frequent changes of school arising from the disruption of family life.

EDUCATION FOR DIVERSITY: MAKING DIFFERENCES

A. Stables

Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003

Certain cultural and social changes have underpinned educational thinking in the twentieth century. These can be grouped under: individualisation, globalisation and the ecological challenge. This volume examines individualisation in relation to changing attitudes to childhood. It discusses globalisation for several perspectives, including the reduced sovereignty of the nation state. Finally the environmental crisis is considered in terms of the possibilities for education for sustainable development.

EXCELLENCE AND ENJOYMENT: A STRATEGY FOR PRIMARY SCHOOLS

Department for Education and skills

London: 2003

The changes for primaries are:

  • Schools will be given 'ownership' of the target-setting process; they will be asked to set their own targets.
  • There will be trials next year of new-style tests for seven-year olds at key stage one
  • The original key stage two target that 85% of 11-year olds reach level 4 in English and maths should now be met "as soon as possible" and ideally by 2006.
  • Headteachers will be given more freedom to ease creativity back into the curriculum.
  • Schools will get credit for the performance of all pupils.
  • The 'beacon schools' are to be replaced with a new 'Leading Practice'

EXTEND YOURSELF

N. Valios

Community Care, May 15th-21st 2003, p. 32-35

Presents a case study of "extended schools" in Brighton and Hove. These schools aim to work with children in a holistic way through the provision of health, social care, counselling and family support services on site.

FINAL DEMAND

J. Crace

Guardian Education, May 6th 2003, p.2-3

As schools and David Miliband clash over the cash crisis, the author believes it is the government that must act now to avert death by cash starvation.

FINALLY, AN ADMISSION THAT TARGETS HAVE LIMITS

W. Woodward

The Guardian, May 21st 2003, p.4

In a personal analysis of the changes to primary education the author argues that, without completely surrendering the standards agenda, the Education Secretary's new approach may represent the final acknowledgement that the days of Chris Woodhead and "sack the useless teachers" are over and show that the government has woken up to the idea that targets have limits.

GOVERNMENT BACKTRACKS FROM TARGETS FOR SCHOOLS

R. Smithers

The Guardian, May 20th 2003, p.7

The government will today bow to teachers' demands by ditching the long-standing national targets for primary schools and urging heads to work to their own, more realistic goals. The U-turn amounts to be biggest shake-up of primary education since Labour came to power in 1997.

(See also The Times, May 26th 2003, p.1; Financial Times, May 20th 2003, p.4; Daily Telegraph, May 20th 2003, p.1)

HEADS BACK CALLS TO SCRAP TESTING FOR 7-YEAR-OLDS

R. Garner

The Independent, May 2nd 2003, p.10

Head teachers will back the National Union of Teachers in a campaign to get rid of the national curriculum tests for 600,000 seven-year-olds, their leader declared on the eve of the National Association of Head Teachers conference.

HEADS PRESS CLARKE TO SPEND £1BN ON SCHOOLS

W. Woodward

The Guardian, May 8th 2003, p.5

Head teachers last might called on be Education Secretary, Charles Clark, to release some of his Departments £1bn underspend to plug the 'black hole' in school budgets this year. It has emerged that the Department of Education and Skills failed to spend £1bn of its allocation for 2002-03.

INCLUSIVE CURRICULUM - INCLUSIVE SCHOOL

F. Hankinson and T Walsh

Working Brief, issue 144, May 2003, p.17-20

Argues that cuts to the 'Standards Funds' budgets allocated to Secondary Schools may damage efforts to provide an inclusive curriculum. Concentrates on the effects of cuts on Vocational Learning Centres. Presents examples of successful Vocational Learning Centres where schools, colleges and training providers work together to teach young people, including those at risk of disaffection. Schools pay for students to attend the centres. Cutting the 'Standards Funds' could damage this provision.

JOINED-UP CARE

P. Revell

Guardian Education, May 27th 2003, p4-5

As the government prepares to publish a green paper on children's services this summer, article reports on a Manchester school that has already developed its own in-house support network of welfare services.

LONDON'S 50 WORST SCHOOLS MAY FACE AXE

J. Kelly

Financial Times, May 13th 2003, p.6

Up to 50 poor quality London secondary schools could close in the biggest shake-up of the capital's education system since the Second World War. The schools with a record of chronic poor performance will have to agree to "tailor-made" improvement plans. If they fail to meet targets within a set deadline they will be closed.

MEDIA GIANT TAKES OVER COMPUTERISED MARKING OF EXAM PAPERS

S. Cassidy

The Independent, May 2nd 2003, p.10

Pearson, the media group that owns the Financial Times and Penguin Publishers, became a major player in the British education world with the announcement that it has taken over the country's second-largest exam board, Edexcel.

MORE CASH FOR SCHOOLS - NEXT YEAR

W. Woodward

The Guardian, May 30th 2003, p.1

Schools in England are to be guaranteed a real-terms increase in funding next year to prevent a repeat of this year's budget crisis. Under plans being developed by Charles Clarke, Education Secretary, each school will receive a minimum rise in funding per pupil next year which more than covers their costs.

MPs ATTACK EXPANSION OF SPECIALIST SCHOOLS

J. Kelly

Financial Times, May 23rd 2003, p.2

The drive by the government to award specialist schools status to most secondaries in the country was questioned by the Commons Education Select Committee. MPs said the rapid expansion of the system was based on enthusiasm for the idea rather than real evidence.

MUSEUMS COULD HELP RUN STATE SECONDARY SCHOOLS

R. Smithers

The Guardian, May 27th 2003, p.5

The government is urging England's top museums to build closer relationships with schools and possibly even get involved with the running of state secondary schools.

NEW ONES: TACKLING BAD BEHAVIOUR AND TRUANCY IN SCHOOLS

I. Lewis

Family Today, Winter 2003 p.18-19

The Education Minister describes the government's national behaviour and truancy strategy. Covers the Anti-Social Behaviour Bill, funding, exclusion policy, Learning Support units, support for parents and improving relationships between the police, schools and the local community.

PRIVATE SCHOOLS SAY THE BUBBLE WILL NOT BURST ON RECORD GROWTH

J. Kelly

Financial Times, May 1st 2003, p.3

Private schools matched all-time records for growth in pupil numbers last year and predicted that, in spite of an average rise in fees of between 8 and 12 percent this year, the "bubble" was not about to burst.

SCHOOL-HOME SUPPORT

S. Collins

Working Brief, issue 144, May 2003, p.23-25

Looks at the work of the charity School-Home Support (formerly East London Schools Fund). The charity recognises that home life has a huge impact on learning at school. It employs school-based workers who are trained to work with and support families. Examines the role they play and gives examples of some of the approaches taken to tackle various issues.

SHAKE-UP IN SCIENCE PUTS CLONING ON CURRICULUM

S. Cassidy

The Independent, May 28th 2003, p.6

Plans to make school science more popular and relevant to everyday life should be implemented by 2005. The changes mean the current science curriculum would be replaced with a tiny core of compulsory materials.

SHAKE-UP PLANNED FOR SCHOOLS FUNDING

J. Kelly

Financial Times, May 16th 2000, p.5

The historic role of town halls in funding schools could be abolished in the wake of this year's national row over budgets. Ministers will be considering a system that would guarantee head teachers fixed revenues three years in advance.

A SPORTING CHANCE

M. Brown

Guardian Society, May 29th 2003, p. 10-11

The Positive Futures programme, which uses football and other activities to steer 'hard-to-reach' young people away from crime and social exclusion, is to be expanded.

U-TURN BY CLARKE DOES NOT SATISFY TEACHERS

R. Smithers

The Guardian, May 21st 2003, p.4

Wide-ranging changes to the national system of assessment were unveiled by the government, but were criticised by many teachers' leaders as not going far enough while the unions remain opposed to a strict tests regime. Schools will be asked to set their own, more realistic targets for the final year of primary school - so-called key stage two - while next year's national target for 85% of 11 years olds to achieve set standards in English and maths has been shelved until 2006. Main changes for primaries are:

  • Schools will be given 'ownership of the target-setting process.
  • New-style tests for seven-year-olds will be trialed next year.
  • The original key stage two target should now be met "as soon as possible".
  • Head teachers will be given more freedom to ease creativity back into the primary curriculum.
  • Views from teachers will be invited on broadening primary school league tables, reflecting the character of the school as well as its test results.
  • Schools will get credit for the performance of all pupils.
  • The 'beacon schools' scheme for sharing good practice is to be replaced with a new 'Leading Practice' focused on outstanding work in particular areas.

(See also The Independent, May 21st 2003, p.6; The Times, May 21st 2003, p.7; The Daily Telegraph, May 21st 2003, p.1; Financial Times, May 21st 2003, p.6)

VIOLENT PARENTS 'MORE OF A RISK THAN PUPILS' TO SCHOOLS

R. Garner

The Independent, May 6th 2003 p.6

Parents are becoming more violent and ill-behaved towards teachers although their children's conduct continues to improve, the leader of the country's largest head teachers' organisation, The National Association of Head Teachers, told the union's annual conference.

WHERE HAS ALL OUR MONEY GONE?

C. Ryan

Public Finance, May 9th-15th 2003 p.20-23

In spite of increased funding, schools are facing a financial crisis in 2003/04. In part this is due to increased payroll costs, and loss of specific project grants for lower class sizes, nursery education, teacher induction and school improvement. However the biggest problem is that government has introduced a new funding formula designed to shift cash to deprived areas, leading to the extra money being unevenly distributed. Ministers blame local education authorities for the crisis, alleging that they have withheld funding increases from schools.

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